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Baby yoga is a type of yoga practice that is becoming quite popular with new moms. A specialized program of yoga is developed for mothers and babies to do together, to help mothers get back in shape after giving birth, to provide relaxation, and to help mother and baby bond even more. Baby yoga programs are frequently offered at yoga studios, gyms, and other fitness centers.
In general, baby yoga is intended for babies who can hold their heads up on their own, which generally occurs around three to four months of age. Of course, this type of yoga for babies is not intended to increase physical fitness in the babies, but is simply intended to be a way for parents and children to spend some relaxing, bonding time together. Be sure to check age limits and requirements before signing up for a baby yoga class, or putting down a deposit.
Aside from taking a yoga class, there are many books and DVDs available that provide at-home instruction for doing yoga with a baby. These can be a less expensive option, but some parents enjoy getting out of the house to meet and socialize with other new parents. No matter which method of instruction is chosen, there are many benefits to making baby yoga a regular practice.
Some proponents of the practice state that when parents do yoga with their babies, the babies have stronger immune systems, sleep better, digest their foods better, and are less anxious, as well as experience increased physical and emotional development. They may also develop closer bonds with their parents and enjoy the exercises; many parents keep doing baby yoga with their children until they are toddlers, at which time the kids can have fun learning different yoga poses on their own, and perhaps even make yoga a lifetime practice.
In baby yoga, parents may be doing traditional yoga poses, and adapting them to include their child in the practice. Parents may gently stretch babies' limbs, or even just simply lift the babies over their heads, or onto their knees or chest. A yoga teacher will provide detailed instructions as to how to stretch with the baby, and will encourage fun interaction between parents and children, so the children can see the positive facial expressions and enjoy the practice. Yoga for parents and babies is generally much gentler than a more standard yoga class, and may not be enough to get in complete physical shape again after birth, but it will be a great start.
I don't have any strong opinions about yoga either way, but I do have friends who had colicky babies who said it helped. Anything that makes a baby feel better and allows mom and dad to get some sleep can't be too bad, though. Maybe it does have something to do with relaxation that helps the colic. I don't know. I'm not sure there is a known cause for colic, really.
At any rate, if baby yoga helps the little rascals sleep and eat better, it's good for everyone in the family. I really don’t see any drawbacks. Everyone gets more sleep and that’s a good thing.
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